This is a common question for us, but the answer can vary greatly depending on factors like fire pit size, materials used, and installation costs. Fortunately, the extremely customizable nature of fire pits means there’s usually a way to adapt your project to your budget.

In this guide, we’ll show you what it takes to turn your dream fire feature into reality and lay out some general guidelines to help you price your project. In addition, we’ll offer up a few other considerations to make during your planning process.

Gas fire pit cost considerations

Here are some of the major variables affecting the final price of your fire pit project. If you’ve followed our guide on how to plan your fire pit project, much of this will be familiar to you. If not, we’d recommend you check out that article for an even more detailed breakdown of what you’ll need to consider before starting your fire pit project.

Fuel Supply

By far the most economical way to build a fire pit is to run the system off a 20-pound propane tank—like the one you’d use with a typical propane grill. However, the BTU rating of a propane tank limits your choice of burners to those rated for 125,000 or fewer BTU. This would be a unit like our 18-inch Penta Burner Kit or a similar unit. While some find this to be an acceptable trade-off on price and ease of installation, those looking for larger fire features will need to consider running a gas line to their fire pit.

The total cost of running a gas line for your project will depend on the specific needs of your installation. According to Home Advisor, installing a gas line can cost $15 to $25 per foot and will depend on factors such as pipe type, size of the pipe, and labor required. Running new gas lines will also require a professional gas plumber to ensure proper installation.

Enclosure Size and Construction

Firepit enclosure costs will depend on the size and materials used. Sourcing a paver block kit from a local store will save on shipping costs and will often be the most cost-effective solution as a result. Other popular options include brick, stone, or concrete enclosures, and each of these come with different costs.

You can also consider purchasing an unfinished enclosure kit for your project. These ready-to-finish designs are prefabricated and provide the structure for your fire pit, allowing you to finish your installation with custom stone, tile, or masonry. These kits are a great option if you’re looking for a good balance between customization and ease of installation.

Fire Pit Insert

The best fire pit burner for your project will likely depend on your budget. Typically, there are three main options to choose from:

Stainless steel burners, the most commonly used burner type, provide a durable design at a reasonable price. These burners are designed to withstand many years of use and often a tried-and-true option.

Brass burners are the most durable burner option available on the market. Although these burners come with a premium price, they’ll last indefinitely in nearly all conditions. These burners can help you create a truly impressive fire pit.

Steel burners are less common than stainless steel and brass burners. Unless required for a specific reason, we recommend using a stainless steel or brass burner instead due to the superior durability of those burner options.

In addition to material considerations, keep in mind how big you’d like your fire pit to be. With increased size comes increased material costs.

Ignition Type

Firepit ignition systems can range from very basic match lit systems to premium electronic ignitions with remote controls and automatic flame sensors. For comparison purposes, a basic stainless steel match light burner kit will cost several hundred dollars while a fully-featured electronic ignition fire pit insert can cost thousands of dollars. You will need to ensure electrical power is available at the fire pit location, which can also add to costs. There are also “in-between” options—like spark ignition systems—worthy of consideration. These systems can help bridge the gap between the superior convenience offered by an electronic ignition system and the economical design of a manual ignition system.

Keep in mind, while an electronic ignition system is certainly nice to have, it’s by no means a requirement to have a great fire pit design. Match lit systems also have additional benefits, like their relatively minimal maintenance requirements. Since these systems are entirely mechanical, they are incredibly reliable and easy to use.

Additional Considerations

While installation costs and fire pit materials will make up the bulk of your costs, there are several other important factors to consider. Among these are your fire pit media and additional accessories available for your fire pit.

Fire Pit Media

Fire pit media is a requirement for a gas fire pit, and there are two options to select from: lava rock or fire glass. Lava rock provides a classic, natural fire pit appearance and costs significantly less than an equivalent amount of fire glass. However, for a more contemporary fire pit appearance and greater color customization, fire glass can’t be beat. Fire glass will also last a lifetime, whereas lava rock will begin to break down after years of use and will eventually need to be replaced. Ultimately, the choice comes down to personal preference, as both media options serve the same purpose and perform equally well.

Fire Pit Accessories

Fire pits can be customized in a variety of ways after the initial construction process. If you’re in an area prone to blustery conditions, consider adding a wind guard to your fire pit. These tempered glass products are also a great option for those with small children in order to keep tiny hands from getting too close to flames.

If your fire pit is going to have an electronic ignition system, consider adding a remote control or wall switch option. These premium products offer flames at the push of a button, and are the ultimate choice for installations where convenience is a priority. If your fire pit project is a commercial build, you may also want to consider adding an emergency stop or an automatic shutoff timer to increase the safety of your installation.

Finally, we recommend adding a hard burner cover or a soft cover to all fire pit installations. Even with the highest quality materials, years of rain and snow can lead to a greater chance of corrosion. Using a cover will also help prevent debris like twigs and leaves from getting into the burner area.

Gas Fire Pit Alternatives

When it comes to gas fire pits, cost isn't the only consideration - sometimes our customers just want a simple solution with minimal construction hassle. Fortunately, fire tables make a great alternative to the traditional fire pit. These all-in-one units can often be used as a coffee table during the day and a cozy fire pit at night. Best of all, fire tables are much closer to a “plug and play” design than more traditional fire pits.

A high-quality fire pit table can be enjoyed for years to come. With heavy-duty construction and high-grade stainless steel burners, these products are built to last and often feature multi-year warranties for added peace of mind.

How long does a 20-pound propane tank last?

If you’re using a propane tank with your fire table or your small fire pit, you’ll want to keep in mind how long your fuel supply will last before needing to be replenished. A typical 20-pound propane tank offers five gallons of fuel, which equates to about 430,000 total BTU. To find out how long your propane tank will last with the fire pit on high, divide 430,000 by the BTU rating of your burner. This will give you a rough estimate how long you can expect your fuel to last.

Burners compatible with small propane tanks typically range from 65,000 to 100,000 BTU. This gives you between 6.5 and 4.5 hours of burn time on high, but these times can be extended if your burner is used at less than full power.

Final Considerations

There’s a lot to consider when planning your fire pit, but we’re here to help. Our team can take a look at your desired features, project budget, and other factors to help you determine the best solution for your build. Give us a call between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. CT Monday through Friday or send us an email to get started planning your build one-on-one with one of our product specialists today.